SA Rugby have revealed that fans have applied for 323,964 tickets for the 2021 tour of the British and Irish Lions.
The Springboks highly-anticipated meeting with the famous British and Irish Lions has attracted more than 250,000 visitors to the official ticketing portal.
British and Irish Lions tour attracts massive interest
“South African rugby fans came out in full force and applied for 323,964 tickets to attend the eight matches of next year’s tour of the British and Irish Lions,” A press release from SA Rugby reads.
The results of the ballot set to be emailed to registrants on Friday.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux thanked fans for their interest in the series but warned that due to the high demand some would be disappointed.
“We would like to thank all our local fans for the massive support by showing interest in buying tickets for the British & Irish Lions tour next year,” said Roux.
“The last couple of months have been challenging as we fought the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was heart-warming to see the interest from South Africans to experience a truly unique tour, which comes around only once every 12 years.
“As we’ve expected, interest in the three Tests was extremely high – they are two to three times oversubscribed – but we are confident that we’ll get as many people as possible into the stadiums.”
Ticket ballot to determine who gets to see the Lions
Roux reiterated that the draw for tickets will be done by a computerized selection process and that supporters who have applied for tickets may not receive everything they have applied for, while the high demand for tickets means applicants may not be successful at all.
“We also know that not everyone will take up the tickets they are issued and there will be a re-sale phase later on, so all doors are not necessarily closed,” he added.
“But we do want to warn fans and discourage them from buying from illicit vendors as those tickets cannot be guaranteed.”
The British and Irish Lions have visited South Africa twice since the Springboks were readmitted into international rugby. The tourists won the first series in 1997 2-1 before the result was reversed in 2009 when John Smit led the Boks to a famous triumph.
By a curious quirk the Springboks have been world champions on each occassion that the Lions have visited in the modern era.